I was raised in a Republican family. I believe that teaching someone to fish is better than giving them the fish. My sympathies lie with health care for all, including access to medication, and a woman’s right to control her own body and make her own decisions. Living in a closed primary state, where one has to be registered with a political party in order to vote in a primary, I switch sides frequently depending on which primary looks more interesting. I guess that shows me to be an Independent.

I have lived overseas and I have some appreciation for what this country is and what it represents. But now, Betsy Ross is ousted by Nike and its critics for some offense that at the time was acceptable and for which no apology or explanation can be offered. People are criticized for opinions they held years ago and that may well have evolved since that time. The Washington D.C. 4th of July parade this year is to include a firm militaristic slant, at the cost of depletion of funds for national parks.

The current President (Donald Trump, lest there be any confusion) is not old enough to remember/be influenced by the history of Nazi Germany, evidenced by his stance on many issues as authoritarian and belligerent. Several red flags are flying while people have lost any ability to think critically, or are too lazy to see those flags. People are swept up in a rhetoric peppered with lies presented as truth while the press is hammered for doing its job, a job essential to a democracy.

Conspiracy theorists might point to Daylight Saving Time, or requirements for seat belts, as wedges in the door to government control over how we live our lives. They may be right. With the changes we are witnessing in the Environment Protection and other Agencies, I wonder when the 4th of July will no longer be the 4th, but moved to some more convenient date. Why not? No one seems to be paying attention.

In the meantime, I will rejoice in what our country has been, for me and multitudes of others who contribute daily to our freedoms, not least being the opportunity to speak for myself.


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